Community Environmental Issue New York

Community Environmental Issue New York

A Discussion of New York’s Pollution

In New York City and in other large cities, the rapid growth of population brings increased cars. This is growing problem because pollution and congestion continue to grow as more care fill the roads. The more cars the more congestion and this causes more pollution from exhaust. These problems are unsustainable in the long rung and add to the growing problems of global warming and air pollution. According to the New York City Department of Health (2015) congestion from traffic is the number one cause of greenhouse gasses and air pollution (New York City Department of Health, 2015). The problem occurs when cars idle in traffic because they run longer and this creates more pollution than if they were moving (New York City Department of Health, 2015). This problem affects all citizens in the New York City and surrounding areas. Unsustainable traffic conditions and out of control air pollution continues to attribute to health issues:

The New York City Health Department estimates show that each year, PM2.5 pollution in New York City causes more than 3,000 deaths, 2,000 hospital admissions for lung and heart conditions, and approximately 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma in children and adults. A modest reduction of 10% in current PM2.5 levels could prevent more than 300 premature deaths, 200 hospital admissions and 600 emergency department visits annually (New York City Department of Health, 2013).

While there are regulations meant to control pollution and emissions in New York, these policies have been ineffective due to the large influx of people and vehicles. Most regulations concern vehicle emissions and this is not enough to stop the increasing amount of emissions due to volume of cars. The issue with the polices is that there is only so much that emission can be lowered with vehicles and larger numbers of vehicles cause the problem to continue. A more innovative solution is needed in order to curb this problem.

One of the newest and most creative solutions for New York City was taken from other cities such as Paris. These cities faced the same issues and utilized what is known as Smart Growth Initiatives. Smart growth initiatives are forms of planning which take into account growth and plan for housing, roads, alternate transportation systems, the use of bike paths and walking paths (New York Department of Environmental Conservation, 2013). Currently, New York is utilizing a planning technique known as Bike Sharing. A Bike Sharing program is designed to allow commuter to rent bikes and use them instead of cars. This program works by setting up bike depots in different locations throughout the city and individuals can use the bikes dropping them off at different depots. This form of transportation has proven valuable as it reduces pollution and is sustainable. In order to accomplish this plan, New York needed to build bike lanes and widen roads across the city (New York Department of Environmental Conservation, 2013). A unique approach was utilized for the project in which the program was financed by private investors and the public. This allowed for community involvement and participation in the planning (Abramson, 2013). Currently, the bike program seems to be the most promising means of creating a sustainable growth initiative in New York:

A little over a month after New York City launched its bike sharing program, it has become so popular that many bike racks in midtown Manhattan are often empty during week day rush hours.
Manhattan bike lanes that were long an urban curiosity are now busy with guys in suits and women in office clothes pedaling the blue Citibikes, at times blowing whistles or just yelling for people to get out of their lane (Abramson, 2013).

Air pollution continues to be an issue but the situation seems to be getting better as pollution has decreased since the launch of the program. Bike sharing may seem limited but it is only one of many methods that may provide a cleaner New York air quality. More innovation with transportation and construction will likely continue this positive trend.


ABRAMSON, A. (2013, July 8). Bike sharing’s latest success is in nyc’s jammed streets. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/bike-sharings-latest-success-nycs- jammed-streets/story?id=19571765

Pearson, Jake. Huffington Post, “ NYC’s bike share, largest in the country, to begin.” Last modified may 6, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff- wires/20130506/us-travel-nyc-bike-sharing/.

New York City Department of Health. (2013). Air pollution and the health of new yorkers: The impact of fine particles and ozone . Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/eode/eode-air-quality-impact.pdf

New York Department of Environmental Conservation. (2013). Smart growth. Retrieved from http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/45970.html

Photo by Josh Sobel on Unsplash


Triola Vincent. Sun, Jan 31, 2021. Community Environmental Issue New York Retrieved from https://vincenttriola.com/blogs/ten-years-of-academic-writing/community-environmental-issue-new-york

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